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Polymers 2011, 3(2), 915-927; doi:10.3390/polym3020915

Using Light Scattering to Screen Polyelectrolytes (PEL) Performance in Flocculation

1,* , 1
1 CIEPQPF and Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Polo II, Coimbra, Portugal 2 AQUA + TECH, Chemin du Chalet-du-Bac 4, CH-1283 La Plaine CP 28, Geneva, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2011 / Accepted: 23 May 2011 / Published: 27 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyelectrolytes)
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Flocculation of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) was monitored using light diffraction spectroscopy (LDS). Four cationic polyacrylamides of high molar mass and with different degrees of branching, all copolymers of acrylamide (AM) and acryloyloxyethyltrimethyl ammonium chloride (Q9), were tested. LDS supplied information about the kinetic curves for flocs growth and also for the flocs structure evolution. Flocculation kinetics, flocs size and structure, flocs resistance and reflocculation capacity could be correlated with the degree of branching of the polyelectrolytes (PEL). Furthermore, PEL with different degrees of branching corresponded to different values for the intrinsic viscosity, indicating differences in the polymer conformation, which explained well the performance differences in flocculation.
Keywords: light diffraction spectroscopy (LDS); fractal dimension; polyacrilamides light diffraction spectroscopy (LDS); fractal dimension; polyacrilamides
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Rasteiro, M.G.; Pinheiro, I.; Garcia, F.A.P.; Ferreira, P.; Hunkeler, D. Using Light Scattering to Screen Polyelectrolytes (PEL) Performance in Flocculation. Polymers 2011, 3, 915-927.

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